Framework for the Development of Thai Normalisation Factors for Life Cycle Assessment in Thailand

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Phyo Zaw Oo
Jun Ren
Anthony Halog
Shabbir H. Gheewala
Trakarn Prapaspongsa


Life cycle assessment (LCA) has become a widely recognized method for evaluating the environmental performance of a product or system along its supply chain. Nowadays, site-dependent Life Cycle Impact Assessment (LCIA) methods have been developed and LCA results could therefore potentially reflect the local, national, and/or regional environmental conditions. In Thailand, site-dependent normalisation factors (NFs) which could support the local decision context have not been developed yet. The objectives of this study are to review underlying methodologies of the NFs in existing LCIA methods; and to establish a framework for the development of Thai NFs. Depending upon the spatial scales, four LCIA methods (ReCiPe 2016, EF 3.0, CML-IA baseline, and TRACI 2.1) were selected to be reviewed and considered when designing a framework. The theoretical approach for the NFs of the four selected LCIA methods is similar but the considered impact categories are different depending upon the spatial distribution and targeted environmental impacts. NFs from each LCIA method apply different reference inventory and year depending upon its spatial scale and data availability, and apply different approaches for data source selection. The selection of an appropriate reference system and representative year for the inventory, and data gap filling are essential criteria to develop NFs for life cycle assessment in Thailand. After the reference inventory is developed for the NFs of desired spatial scale (regional or national), the robustness of the inventory should be evaluated to reflect the actual impacts from each category. The developed framework could provide the required information for the future development of NFs and satisfy the required gap specific for Thailand. Besides, this framework is potentially applicable for other regions.

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